The Biggest Misconceptions About Nursing

by A Guest

Nurses are expected to wear several hats and take on a wide variety of roles during a typical shift. From a shoulder to cry on and clinical nurse leader to a referee and teacher:   no hospital, nursing home or clinic would run without its caring, compassionate and well-educated nursing staff. Unfortunately, this noble profession is being constantly scrutinized and subjected to a number of myths, misconceptions and untruths. Here are a few of the most commons misunderstandings about nursing and the fact behind the stories, which might actually surprise you.

Being a Nurse Isn’t Nearly as Challenging as Being a Doctor

Not to degrade the role doctors obviously play in the healthcare industry, but even most of these hardworking professionals will admit that they couldn’t possibly perform all the daily duties nurses are expected to master. From administering medications and assisting in surgeries to coordinating an individual's healthcare needs to holding a child’s hand into a procedure:  the word “challenging” doesn’t begin to describe the day to day life of a nurse. If you don’t consider staying on your feet for long shifts, administering to the needs of countless frustrated, worried patients and their families challenging, then you need to walk a day in a nurse’s shoes.

Nurses are Interchangeable

Another overwhelmingly common misconception about nurses is that they could easily pick up and leave their current specialization and move into a separate and different department. In truth, if a nurse wanted to change her specialization, it would takes months of additional schooling, training and practical experience before she could even think of taking on a role in a different department. Looking at the groups of scurrying, scrubs-clad nurses running through a hospital or clinic each day you probably think they all have the same training, experiences and knowledge, which couldn’t be further from the reality.

All Male Nurses Settled for This Profession… After Flunking Out of Medical School

Male nurses are forever the punch lines to jokes in films, including “Meet the Parents,” but rest assured no one who works with these passionate and caring professionals is laughing about their skill and dedication to the profession. Many believe that male nurses settled for their current employment because they couldn’t make the grades in medical school, which is a laughable misconception. The truth of the matter is the majority of male nurses wanted to take this challenging and rewarding career path on because of a lifelong or newfound ambition to become a nurse, not a “wannabe doctor.”

Nurses Exist to Perform the Doctor’s Grunt Work

Watch any common interaction between doctors and nurses and you’ll find the conversation is more mutually respectful and a collaboration, rather than a superior ordering around his underling. Many believe that nurses are on the payroll simply to act as a doctor’s gofer and perform a variety of menial tasks the exalted physician wouldn’t dream of completing himself. In actuality, doctors and nurses work in mutual cooperation with one another to accurately diagnose ailments and create workable care plans to benefit the patients. Yes, nurses do perform a variety of unsavory tasks, but the doctors are well aware of their role and realize they wouldn’t have a rewarding career themselves, without a talented nursing staff to back them up.

The Nursing Shortage Guarantees Employment after School

Several websites, newspapers and magazines have declared there is a nursing shortage, which isn’t entirely so. Many hospitals, clinics and nursing homes are always on the hunt for well-educated and talented nurses to join their ranks, but this doesn’t mean they’re willing to lower employment standards in order to fill slots. The supposed nursing shortage has led many to believe that there are a multitude of jobs just waiting for them after they breeze through any number of nursing programs, but don’t start filling out college applications just yet. You’ll still need to excel in university, take and receive an exemplary score on your state’s nursing certification test and compete with a variety of other newly-anointed or seasoned professionals looking for work as well.

There is no final truth anyone thinking about starting a career in nursing must keep in mind; the job is generally very stressful. Nurses are literally faced with life and death decisions on a daily basis. If you aren’t ready to cope with this overwhelming responsibility, think twice about undertaking the years of training necessary to become a nurse.

This article was written by Justin Davis, who is currently enrolled in nursing masters programs online.  He should be done with his degree next year and can’t wait to get in the field.

This post was written by A Guest

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